Turkey to focus on high-tech exports via entrepreneurship

Turkey to focus on high-tech exports via entrepreneurship

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey to focus on high-tech exports via entrepreneurship

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan says companies such as Apple and Google might emerge also from Turkey. AA photo

Having attracted nearly $11.5 billion in foreign direct investment in the first ten months of last year, Turkey should attract foreign funding institutions aiming to boost their presence in the country through entrepreneurship funds for high-tech industries said Turkey’s economy minister yesterday.

“Nearly 50 international funds invested in 150 Turkish firms specializing in high-tech industries last year,” said Zafer Çağlayan, Turkish Economy Minister speaking before the meeting on entrepreneurship funds with private firms’ executives in Istanbul. 50 Turkish firms have reached a total export volume of $1.5 billion last year, he said.

“Compared with last year’s total export volume of $138.4 billion, the export volume of the Turkish firms benefiting from entrepreneurship funds falls short,” Çağlayan added.

“One of our main aims is to introduce entrepreneurship funds to Turkish entrepreneurs,” Çağlayan said, adding that the country’s competitiveness should be boosted through channeling international funds to Turkey. He said currently the share of high-tech products in the country’s total export volume is nearly 44 percent.

“This has to be increased,” the minister said. “In order to achieve this, we have to work on the infrastructure, which could enable the emergence of global firms such as Apple and Google.”

Turkish software companies lack sufficient information on exporting their products to foreign markets, he said, adding that financial difficulties remain a burden on the firms promising growth in the future.

Encouraging SMEs
“Small and medium firms make up to nearly 60 percent of Turkey’s total exports,” he said, adding that SME’s should be encouraged to focus on manufacturing goods providing added value.

İbrahim Turhan, chairman of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, Mustafa Kaplan, head of the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB), Süreyya Ciliv, chief executive of Turkcell, Levent Çakıroğlu, head of durable goods at Koç Holding, Murat Özyeğin, board member of Fiba Holding, Murat Sungur, chairman of Zorlu Energy attended the meeting.